For most people, having the flu means you want to stay home, under the covers, with a bowl of your favorite chicken noodle soup.
While staying home is your best bet during flu season, sometimes you do have to travel, and you might encounter people who are sick. Even though you can’t totally avoid getting sick, what you can do is take a few steps to protect yourself.
Here, we have a list of our best travel tips during the flu season. Keep these in mind and you’ll be far more likely to make it through flu season as healthy as possible.
Check Your Health
The best thing you can do is look at your own health first. Many doctors and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend getting a flu shot each year. That can go a long way towards not only preventing you from getting the flu but keeping others safer too.
Also, if you know you have the flu or you feel like you’re coming down with something, avoid traveling when you can, so you aren’t spreading it on to others.
Rest and Hydration
Sometimes your best defense against getting sick is rest. Before you travel, especially if you know you’re going to be running around a lot, make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest. This can help keep your immune system in top shape.
Also, hydrate frequently. Bring your water bottle and fill it once you’re through security. You can drink that on the plane until you run out. Flying is especially dehydrating so up your water intake by a few extra cups when you’re in flight.
Good Personal Hygiene
Pack a personal hygiene kit in your carryon bag. This can include hand sanitizer and wipes that have at least 60% alcohol, lip gloss, eye drops, and any medicines you might need including for allergies or extra vitamin c, and tissues. Many people also wear simple cloth masks for an extra layer of protection too.
Once you’re on the plane, or train, or even your rental car, wipe down the surfaces that are touched a lot with your wipes. Don’t forget your luggage handles too!
If you aren’t near a restroom, clean up your hands with the sanitizer. Then, when you can, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water, especially after using the restroom and before eating. Finally, avoid touching your face, including eyes, nose, and mouth, with your hands.
Just these simple good hygiene practices can go a really long way in preventing you from getting sick year-round.
If you do end up feeling sick while you’re traveling, take it easy. If you need to speak with a doctor, try contacting yours, many will do telehealth appointments over apps like FaceTime. Your hotel’s front desk should also be able to help in a pinch, simply call down to them and ask.
While you can’t completely prevent any potential illness while traveling, there’s a lot you can do to help make sure you’re playing your part and helping others.